Kershaw County is located in one of South Carolina’s most historic regions, where more than a dozen fierce Revolutionary War confrontations raged approximately two centuries ago.
In 1732, English traders and farmers moved to the area from the Charleston coast, nearly 50 years before those famous battles. They established Camden, considered the oldest inland city in the state. It was named for Charles Pratt, Lord of Camden.
Because of its position in the Carolinas, the Battle of Camden on August 16, 1780, became a crucial encounter in the southern theater of the Revolutionary War. Even though Congress moved troops from several states to protect this area, it was not enough.
British Gen. Charles Cornwallis had already established an outpost in the area. On Aug. 16, 1780, he attacked and routed the American forces under the command of Gen. Horatio Gates approximately 6 miles north of Camden. As a result, some 1,000 American soldiers lost their lives and another 1,000 were captured during the battle.
Also of note is the Battle of Hobkirk’s Hill near Camden, fought on April 25,1781, after which the British soldiers set fire to Camden as they departed.
That battle and the others that occurred in the surrounding area are remembered today through the 107 acre Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site and a 7/10 mile nature trail. The outdoor museum complex offers visitors a glimpse of life during the Colonial and Revolutionary War periods in Camden and Kershaw County.
The history of the area literally comes alive during the first weekend of November each year with Revolutionary War Field Days. Activities during the festival include a reenactment of the Battle of Camden, living history demonstrations, traditional craftsmen and a period fashion show.
The county’s history, however, is not confined to the Revolutionary War. Kershaw County also produced six Confederate generals: Joseph Brevard Kershaw (1822-94), James Chesnut (1815-85), James Cantey (1818-73), Zack Cantey Deas (1819-82), John Bordenave Villepigue (1830-62) and John Doby Kennedy (1840-96), who also served as lieutenant governor of South Carolina from 1880-1882.
Excerpt from the Kershaw County Quality of Life Magazine, 2006 Edition. Published by SouthComm Publishing Company, Inc.
Historic Boykin Community
See corn ground into meal and grits by water power at Boykin Mill. Watch as brooms are handmade on more than 100 year old equipment at the Broom Place. Stop at the Boykin Company Store and Grill for gifts, gourmet foods and delicious meals. Make reservations for gourmet dining at the Mill Pond Steakhouse, one of the finest restaurants in South Carolina according to “Fodor’s” travel guide.
Camden Historic District
Take a walking, carriage or driving tour to experience the splendor of more than 60 gracious homes and buildings preserved by the Kershaw County Historical Society.
Camden Antique and Arts District
Browse more than 20 shops and galleries, many within walking distance, where yesterday’s treasures and today’s artisans await. Pause for lunch or dinner at one of the fine or casual eateries. Antique and Arts Guide
Historic Robert Mills Courthouse Visitors Center
Tour the structure built in 1827 to house the Kershaw County Courthouse. The recently restored building houses the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center, which provides information on the area seven days a week.
|National Steeplechase Museum
Containing displays, exhibits and a reference library, this museum is the only one in North America dedicated to the competition and pageantry of Steeplechase racing.
|Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site
Open to the public for guided or self guided tours, this 98 acre outdoor museum complex contains several examples of early American architecture including the reconstructed Kershaw Cornwallis House. Peruse the excavated remains of the old town.
|Springdale Race Course and Training Center
The Carolina Cup International Steeplechase Races take place on the course in late March or early April. This day long event, a rite of spring in South Carolina, brings over 70,000 racing and party fans to Camden for Steeplechase races and tailgating.
Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County
Festivals and Events
Above information provided by:http://www.kershaw.sc.gov/Index.aspx?page=46